MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said next year’s general election is a platform for Zimbabweans to choose between good and evil.
By Stephen Chadenga
Addressing thousands of party supporters at Mkoba Stadium in Gweru, Tsvangirai said if people did not set a new direction for the country through wise voting next year, the nation would be doomed for generations to come.
Tsvangirai said he would not allow President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF to continue rigging the elections, saying he would not accept the results.
“If this time they rig the elections, I will go the [American president Donald] Trump way and I will not accept the results,” he said.
“We will not be led by a minority party [Zanu PF].”
The former prime minister said his party was instrumental in pushing for the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) system, which he said inspired confidence in the electorate as it could not be easily tampered with.
“BVR will never be manipulated and this time around, the Zanu PF election rigging machinery is out of order,” he said.
Tsvangirai said his party would continue pushing for electoral reforms, describing next year’s election as a watershed poll.
Tsvangirai said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson, Rita Makarau committed herself to making sure that people would be properly registered. He said they had challenged her to guarantee that next year’s election would not be a contested one.
The MDC-T leader said ZEC should demonstrate its independence and that the Constitution should be abided by as it was the “epitome of the rule of law”.
Tsvangirai admitted that an opposition coalition brought with it complications, especially when it comes just before an election.
He took a swipe at other opposition parties whom he said wanted to ride on the popularity of others whenever the issue of a coalition arose.
“There is danger in unbridled ambition,” said Tsvangirai.
“At the end of the day, you must ask yourself can I mobilise people or you just come and say I have formed a political party, give me the people.”
Tsvangirai said his party had a history, which he described as established both in Parliament and local authorities.
He said MDC-T would however not play the big brother and was still committed to a coalition of opposition parties, which he said was “ongoing business and work in progress”.
The MDC-T boss said if voted into power, his party would turn around the economy in the first five years, adding that it would engage the international community for financial backing.
“We would neither look west or east but we want everyone [on board] east, west, north and south,” Tsvangirai said.
“We will engage even the Chinese but as a party, we say if you engage with Zimbabwe, put the country’s interests first.
“We are not seeking looters but partners.”
Mugabe kick-started his election campaign on June 2 with a rally in Marondera and is set to address similar meetings in all the country’s provinces in the next few months.